The main sketch on the left-hand side of the page represents part of a view of the Bay of Baiae looking south-east from the shore. The octagonal ruin in the foreground is the so-called Temple of Venus, one of a number of Roman thermal bath-houses found within the bay. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 86 (D15725; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 84). An early study of the ‘temple’ after another artist can be found in Dr Monro’s Album of Italian Views (Tate D36422; Turner Bequest CCCLXXIII 9). There is also a later oil study which probably also features the ruin, see Seacoast with Ruin, probably the Bay of Baiae circa 1828 (Tate, N00530).1
The four sketches on the right-hand side of the page all appear to depict vistas of the coastline to the west of Baiae towards Cumae. These include a study of the watch-tower at Torregaveta, and above that, a view of the islands of Procida and Ischia with the islet of San Martino in front. For related, alternative drawings see folios 82 verso and 84 (D15718 and D15721; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 80a and 84).
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, no.319.
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- Bay of Baiae(25)